News & Analysis

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    HUZZAH! Our new call-in show, PandoLIVE starts on Monday

    It’s always slightly embarrassing to be scooped on your own news. But, yes, as Betabeat first reported here, we’re launching a brand new weekly call-in radio show: PandoLIVE. Hosted by Sarah Lacy and me, the format of the hour-long show will be familiar to anyone who remembers the old NSFWLIVE show: Listener calls, intense arguments, occasional bursts of Taylor Swift and — fair warning — the kind of uncensored discussion that means you’ll probably want to use headphones if you’re…
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    Will Twitter’s new $10M MIT partnership finally fulfill the network’s promise of social reform?

    In 2009, it felt as if Twitter was on the cusp of becoming a real agent of social change. Following the reelection of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranians took to the streets to protest what many felt was a fixed election. The window into this conflict for much of the Western world was Twitter, which protesters used to communicate with one another and share their experiences and opinions. The notion that Twitter would help organize and thus democratize oppressive societies became…
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    Derek Jeter’s new site won’t kill traditional sports journalism — It’s already dead.

    “I had written all I was going to write, if the truth had been known, and there is nothing wrong with that.” – Richard FordThe Sportswriter In March of last year, ESPN hit what many considered to be a new low for the ostensibly journalistic organization. On the television show “First Take,” commentator and walking thinkpiece Skip Bayless posed the kind of question that wouldn’t even pass muster in a conversation between two drunks at…
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    Startups Anonymous: A Letter to Serial Entrepreneurs

    [This is a weekly series that brings you raw, first-hand experiences from founders and investors in the trenches. Their story submissions are anonymous, allowing them to share openly without fear of retribution. Every Wednesday, we'll run one new story chosen by Dana Severson, who operates StartupsAnonymous, a place for startups to share, ask questions, and  answer them in story-length posts, all anonymously. You can share your own story here.] Dear Super-gassed up entrepreneur that has…
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    The Times cuts 100 staffers, shutters Opinion app in an attempt to “pivot”

    Reading the New York Times’ opinion pages is like listening to a stoner — and no, I don’t mean Maureen Dowd — ramble about whatever happened to be on the news while they were smoking. With the exception of the paper’s stilted headlines, nothing attracts mockery from readers and the media like the publication of yet another ridiculous column from some far-overpaid writer. That didn’t stop the Times from releasing a mobile application devoted to that vapid rambling, but now it…
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    Estate Assist brings safety deposit boxes to the cloud, aims to prevent your loved ones from searching when you go

    Gone are the days when our most important information is stored in file cabinets and on bookshelves. Today, bank statement, legal documents, journals, photos, social media accounts, and all manner of other data is digital, and typically password protected. And because most things are digital, anything that has not made it’s way online is effectively invisible and largely forgotten. This makes for a particularly challenging situation when a loved one passes away and their family needs get their affairs in…
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    Quri launches Impact to help advertisers measure if the billions spent on in-store ads are working

    It’s shocking, in this day and age, how little visibility many advertisers have into their campaigns. Be it TV, print, or outdoor advertising, if it’s not digital, advertisers are really guessing at the impressions, and the resulting lift they’re getting from their advertising spend. But one of the biggest categories in all of offline advertising is about to get a major injection of intelligence. Quri, a two-year-old retail intelligence startup, is launching its IMPACT product today with the…
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    Reddit’s $50M funding round highlights the tech industry’s hypocritical privacy views

    Reddit announced yesterday that it has closed a $50 million funding round from investors like Y Combinator president Sam Altman, Peter Thiel, and Sequoia Capital’s Alfred Lin. (A number of Pando investors, including Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz, also participated in the round.) And, according to VentureBeat, all of these investors are fine with the way the site handled the people who shared images taken from numerous celebrities’ personal accounts. The funding round was first reported by Re/code in the…
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    Liftopia introduces dynamic pricing, wants to price ski lift tickets more like airplane seats

    The ski and snowboard industry is about to see its biggest shakeup since the invention of artificial snow. Today, the vast majority of lift tickets are purchased “at the window” on the day of usage. This is bad for resorts, because there is no predictability and no ability to separate sales from the vagaries of weather. For consumers, it means that all tickets cost the same, regardless of demand. Thanks to Liftopia, the industry is about to go the…
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    JibJab enters the messaging game, wants to be the “funny button” for all your communications needs

    Fifteen years after launching as a fledgling digital content shop in New York and after surviving two economic downturns, JibJab Bros Studios today is profitable and employs more than 75 people. Having relocated its operations to Santa Monica a decade ago, the company bootstrapped itself for more than half its life before bringing on venture backing only after things were running smoothly. Throughout, there has been one guiding principle that has governed all of the company decision making, according to co-founder and…
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    How Twitter became the LinkedIn of the adult industry

    Daisy Ducati tweets selfies — of her skintight red latex dress, stockinged feet and naked body. It’s the sort of thing that could get most people fired, but in Ducati’s case, it’s actually gotten her hired. That’s because Ducati works in the adult industry, which increasingly treats 140-character missives and follower counts like cover letters and resumes. It’s how San Francisco-based porn director Courtney Trouble discovered her — and how could she not with tweets like, “‘How was your…
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    Re/code: Tony Hsieh stepped down as Downtown Project leader weeks ago

    Amid reports of massive layoffs at the Downtown Project, an effort to revitalize Las Vegas, sources tell Re/code that its leader, Tony Hsieh, stepped down weeks ago. [Source: Re/code]
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    Fired from Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project? Cool! Now you can attend Tony Hsieh’s $250 music festival!

    Earlier today, it was reported that Tony Hsieh’s Las Vegas Project has fired a ton of its staff amid rumors of total organization meltdown. A few hours later, this… uh… slightly ill-timed email was sent to members of the Downtown community by the Hsieh-backed Life Is Beautiful festival, suggesting they skip work to attend the $250 music event. Delivering happiness indeed. (Hsieh’s Vegas Tech Fund is an investor in Pando and was previously an investor in my company, NSFWCORP. As…
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    Breaking: ‘Bloodletting’ at Downtown Project with massive layoffs

    “Sources say there has been a “bloodletting” at DTP, with numerous layoffs beginning this morning. Employees have been called in for individual meetings and entire teams have been cut from the payroll.” – Las Vegas Weekly
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    Amazon’s “Transparent” is the best show ever created by a tech company

    Making great television is hard. It doesn’t matter whether it’s produced by a longtime incumbent with decades of experience like HBO, or a tech company like Netflix venturing from the safe solace of zeroes and ones into the much less predictable realm of characters and story. Major networks order over a dozen pilots each year, less than half of which are picked up. This year alone, at least 40 shows are slated to be cancelled. So it’s little wonder that tech companies have…
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